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While the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture went to NSW architectural firm fjmt for The EY Centre in George Strett, Sydney the National Award in the same category went to Cox Architecture for The Equestrian Centre, Willinga Park, described by the jury as “an immersive habitat, celebrating connections between human, nature and animal that are amplified by confident form-making”.As well, NewActon Nishi by Fender Katsalidis Architects received a national commendation with the jury applauding the project for providing “a refreshing model for commercial architecture, fusing a number of compatible elements into a microcosm of a city”.
In the “Heritage” category, Guida Moseley Brown Architects received a National Commendations for their restoration of the Embassy of Sweden building. The jury noted the subtle restoration of the building while retaining the intrinsic Swedish character.Jury chair and immediate past president, Ken Maher, said he believed the awards played a significant role in illuminating the value architects bring to clients and community, as well as stimulating debate and defining values within the profession. He told those present that jury had given preference to projects demonstrating the contribution architecture could make to the public good, that were inventive in their responses to context, site and program and that celebrated an understanding of materials and making.
The Australian Institute of Architects received the largest number of entries since the national awards program began, with a total of 983 entries and 72 shortlisted for national honours. Eventually the national jury presented 35 awards and 13 commendations across the 14 categories.
The full list of 2017 National Architecture Awardees may be viewed at architecture.com.au